China’s Dwarf Empire home to 80+ performing dwarves

In a southwestern province, 6000 feet above the sea, sits a city. A short journey from that city is a tiny village. And in this village, tiny people live in mushroom-shaped houses. No, this isn’t a fairy tale — there truly is a “Dwarf Empire” outside of Kunming, China in Yunnan Province.

Since I’m getting ready to move to Kunming in a couple of weeks, I’ve been spending some time over on the forums at GoKunming. A couple of weeks ago, someone posted to ask if anyone had heard of a nearby “dwarf village,” rumored to be a town set up by dwarves for anyone under a certain height.

The founder of GoKunming decided to check it out for himself, and what he discovered was a dwarf theme park complete with a twice-daily musical. The dwarf residents come from all over China, and in addition to free room and board receive dance and English lessons. GoKunming reported that the residents they spoke with were happy with the setup, and pointed out that little work is available to them elsewhere in the country.

Though this site is in Italian, it has some good photos of the musical, which includes ballet and break-dancing.

The entrance fee is only about $12 – what do you all think? Should I visit it when I’m in Kunming or is it totally over-the-top unethical?